President Donald Trump said his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday "would not have happened" without Otto Warmbier, an American college student who died last year after being imprisoned in a North Korean prison camp, NBC News reported.
Trump's comment came when he was asked about calling Kim "talented" despite his dismal human rights record.
"Something happened from that day, was a terrible thing. It was brutal," Trump said of Warmbier. "But a lot of people started to focus on what was going on, including North Korea. I really think that Otto is someone who did not die in vain. He had a lot to do with us today."
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The 22-year-old University of Virginia student was imprisoned in 2016 for allegedly taking a poster from a North Korean hotel while on a tourist visit. He was sent home in a coma exactly one year before the date of the summit and died days later.
“We appreciate President Trump's recent comments about our family," Otto's parents Fred and Cindy Warmbier said in a statement. "We are proud of Otto and miss him. Hopefully something positive can come from this.”